Sunday, March 16, 2014

Across the Bay 12k Race Report (and weekend recap)

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It's Sunday and I am, yet again, exhausted. This is likely going to be my shortest race report ever. But before I get to that, a quick recap of the day prior. I arrived at Sonoma Mission Inn on Friday evening. My mom, aunt and sister were already there. Two generations of sisters, what could be more fun?? They'd already had a few drinks when I arrived so I had a quick couple glasses of champagne and was soon in the festive mood too.

We ended up going to dinner in the hotel restaurant. I had a risotto appetizer and a "tasting" steak dinner (there were three types of steak). We all shared a chocolate souffle for dessert. Oh, and I had a cocktail before dinner, a vodka soda. I got serious about drinking water and before the night was over I was well hydrated. Oh, I also had almost a whole tin of Pringles on the drive up there. Ugh.

Saturday was the spa day. My massage was at 9am and then I met the women for breakfast. I had a farmer's omelet with egg whites and roasted veggies, fruit on the side and toast. Lunch was a shrimp salad sandwich but without the bread. Back to the pool and a bit more champagne.

And then it was home to get some sleep before the big race. Up at the crack of dawn to drive into the city. I parked near Ghiradelli Square (where the race ended) and caught the shuttle over to the Sausalito start. Some of my mom/runner friends crew were also doing the event but I couldn't find them before the race got underway.

I'd done all my morning stuff right, took an allergy pill, used my inhaler, no GI problems. The day was off to a promising start.

Race route
I had my Garmin on and I pretty well knew the route. I've done pieces of this run quite a few times now and knew it started with a good sized hill (that I ran last July for fun). I decided to run by effort with no real pace goals, except to not go out too fast. It's tricky because the run starts with a downhill, then flat, then uphill. I paced myself by way of watching my heart rate, staying in the high 150's/low 160's as a guide.
At the start
My first mile was 9:34 and only included a tiny bit of the uphill. Mile 2 included most of the hill and was 11:13 as a result. 

Once we leveled out I started checking my Garmin...I was solidly in the 9-10:00 minute mile range, which made me happy. If could average sub-10:00 minute miles for the 12k distance with one big hill and one small one (at the end), I'd be a smiling girl.

The weather was just perfect, mid-50's and almost no wind.

But the Golden Gate bridge was socked in with fog.

No view of SF from here today.
Mile 4 included the downhill coming off the bridge and I ran it in 8:27. That balanced out Mile 2.

The picture below is near Fort Point, the turnaround spot. Still some fog but it's clearing out. It wasn't long before I started feeling the sun. Like I said, the weather was perfect, any warmer and I would have been suffering.

Thanks Laura for the awesome pics!
I'd had a plan to have two ShotBloks at around mile 5.5, figuring they'd kick in at mile 6 and carry me through. And that was exactly when I started dragging so my plan was perfect. Those last few miles were just me and my thoughts (and music). The only evil thing is a hill at mile 7. It's only about 1/3 of a mile long but I was tired. Still, I ran up and then sped down the other side.

After the hill I came around the corner and BAM!, there was the finish line. I thought a 12k was over 8 miles so I was pleasantly surprised. Turns out 12k = 7.45 miles roughly. Nothing better than getting to the finish line sooner than you were expecting.

I stayed at the finish line hoping to find my friends. Before long Laura came in, then Laurie and Jackie rounded out the crew. Everybody was happy and wearing those distinctive post-race smiles. I love it!

Laurie, Laura, Me, Jackie
 My buddy Jackie has made her post-baby comeback and is in great shape, not to mention she looks amazing! I'm so impressed!! Congratulations Jackie. And it was so fun to finally get Laura out on the course with us. Laurie is my tried-and-true event partner, so good to see her post-race smile again too.

As far as my stats, when all was said and done I ran it in 1:13:56 for an average of 9:55 minute miles. I'll take it! I finished in the top 1/3 for my age group and gender. I was closer to the middle of the pack overall. Me, the middle of the pack? That still amazes me.

After the race we went to Bar Bocce in Sausalito, sat looking out at the bay and had beers, pizza and salad. I'm planning to reign in the eating though, even with the exercise I can't take in this many calories and maintain my weight. And on that happy note I'm off to bed. Thanks for reading!


  1. All that sun and warmth just looks glorious! Good for you and your awesome race and fabulous weekend!

  2. I captured a good shot of Laura as she got on the Golden Gate Bridge yesterday here:


    1. Thanks Frank! I must have gotten lost in the crowd ;)


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